[[IGI 2 : Covert Strike]]
IGI 2: Covert Strike will be the second game following the adventures of David Llewelyn Jones. This installment will also focus on a First Person Shooter style, emphasizing the stealth and action aspects of gameplay.
Although the original game, Project IGI : I'm Going In, did create a devoted fan base, it failed to do well as far as sales were concerned. This led to the original publisher, Eidos, dropping the game. That's where Codemasters, fresh from the success of their Operation Flashpoint title, came in and purchased the rights to produce and publish the sequel. The original developers, the Oslo, Norway based, Innerloop Studios AS, are also developing IGI 2. This ensures continuity and evidence suggests that except for David Llewelyn Jones (is he Welsh?), Anya, David and Priboi are also expected to make a triumphant comeback.
Innerloop have listened closely to what gamers had to say about the original IGI and have focused their efforts accordingly.
The implementation of a new "save" system for IGI 2: Covert Strike has been a heated talking point among fans. Improving over the original game, IGI 2's Save system will be a function of the map computer, a device which David Jones, the game's central character, uses to receive tactical support in the field from IGI HQ.
The map computer has the functionality for Jones to download and upload, to save and load, the current mission status and position. Doing this in the field will take time and drains battery energy from the map computer, so players will have to save tactically.
Artificial Intelligence for the game's enemy agents has been significantly reworked and the original game's continual enemy respawning has been eliminated. Soldiers are more alert and react accordingly to a wide range of game situations, such as hearing an alarm siren or detecting destroyed security cameras as well as other dead soldiers.
Enemy soldiers of different ranks and abilities react in their own style to alert situations. Some soldiers will prefer running for an alarm button and calling for back-up, than engaging Jones in combat.
The enemies will be able to work together in teams, and will use various different techniques to locate and hunt down an intruder. Enemies driving vehicles will have an advanced form of AI. Drivers will react to how their vehicle is damaged, and bail out if they find out that you're bent on blowing up their ride.
The biggest and most welcome change in IGI 2 : Covert Strike is the implementation of multi -player action. Details of features remain closely guarded secrets but first glimpses suggest that a lot of effort has gone into creating a thoroughly playable team-based aspect to the game. The multiplayer side of the game will provide support for up to 32 players and will include multiplayer maps with team objectives.
Similar to Counter-Strike, IGI 2 will feature a credit feature giving each team member the opportunity to purchase guns and equipment. Enough credits will also guarantee you a resurrection in case you die mid-round. Your re-incarnation price will depend on your patience (the sooner you re-enter the more expensive it will be) or on your team's ability to cope without you. Another useful feature is that of voice-over-the-net that will possibly be implemented.
IGI 2: Covert Strike sees the return of IGI's award-winning stealth-based first-person shooter action and continues the modern warfare and espionage theme of the original. The covert missions continue the career of David Jones, a former SAS soldier, now working freelance for the secret organisation, codenamed "IGI".
The spiralling plot will take Jones through Russia, across Libya and into China in three linked campaigns, as he infiltrates a wide variety of locations including military airbases, harbours and secret government installations.
Each of the 19 missions will expand the plot and will be sequenced with impressive animated scenes that will continue to absorb the player in the game's carefully constructed narrative.
It won't be an easy ride: completely new Artificial Intelligence systems will give Jones' many enemies the ability to work together as effective teams, using realistic combat tactics and electronic security systems to locate him, hunt him down and neutralise him.
But at least he'll have the resources available to deal with them - whether hacking a security computer, sniping a guard from a distant tower, or storming a courtyard with all guns blazing.
Henning Rokling, Managing Director of Innerloop Studios AS enthuses:
"IGI 2 will be an incredibly strong game with an enthralling story line. The many fans of the first game will immediately feel at home, and a lot of effort has been put into further increasing the tension and excitement over the first game.
We're very excited to be working with the highly reputable and experienced team at Codemasters. We have full confidence in their ability to help make IGI 2 a smash-hit sequel."
Using its industry-leading landscape engine, Innerloop is creating breathtaking game environments including desert, temperate and even winter settings. The engine has been significantly enhanced and is capable of producing more varied and textured landscapes, more weather effects, night and low-light conditions and stunning water-based scenery.
Says Gary Rowe, Head of Business Development at Codemasters:
"Innerloop Studios demonstrated exceptional expertise in the first-person-shooter arena with the original IGI, and their ambitions for this new title impressed us greatly. After the success of Operation Flashpoint, we're very excited to be working closely with such a creative team to produce a game that we're confident will be the most dramatic and entertaining first-person action adventure of 2002".
As with Project IGI, IGI 2 will feature a vast array of realistic weaponry. A careful look at the screenshots reveals the Dragunov, an MP5, an M16 and a knife, as well as binoculars. Whether or not these weapons will pass the beta testing stage however, remains a mystery. Official information also mentions sidearms, machine pistols, assault rifles, miniguns and missile launchers. Project IGI created a legacy as far as weapon quality is concerned so IGI 2 has no option but to excel in that field.
In IGI 2, unlike the original, there will be a limit to the weaponry which the player will be able to carry. Enemy weapons will also have to be "manually" picked up, passing over a weapons' position will initiate a pop-up prompt, asking the player what to do with it. IGI 2 will also include a variety of new high-tech gadgets, among those will be thermal imaging goggles.
IGI 2 Information
A variety of fan sites for IGI 2 have already been set-up, providing great promise for the game's popularity. Project IGI 2 is a UK based site which, the mistaken Project in the title notwithstanding, has a variety of up to date information about the upcoming game. Covert Strike Tk also provides useful news about IGI 2. The newest addition to fan sites is IGI2.org but the best bet for official information is the Official Site.
There haven't been many released videos of the game. The best source, providing an idea of what the game "feels like", is the 11.5 mb high quality video. For all those who are extremely hungry for more, there is also a 5 mb low quality weapons and gadgets movie.
IGI 2 : Covert Strike will be released around May 10th, 2002.